From a Mom’s perspective

I often write about my feelings and my experiences from a standpoint of a divorced woman.  Today I want to write from my MOM point of view. Everyone that knows me knows the story about my littles – but very few see the intricacies of all they face and what they have to overcome.  Today is a story about OVERCOMING.

I attended parent/teacher conferences today to look at both girls 3rd nine weeks progress in 5th grade and 2nd grade. These meetings are much different for me than when I went for my BIGS.  The questions I ask are different, the things I am curious and concerned about look wayyy different, my motherly perspective is just different with the littles knowing the challenges in learning and development they face.

To hear a teacher say that Maddie is fighting past her stumbling blocks to master her studies and be able to study and successfully take tests on large amounts of material made my eyes well with tears of joy.  Her time between introduction of new concepts until mastery is much shorter now. And I am realizing that she is able to leverage – on her own – her resources (her homework tutor) to be able to study what she needs to, get help where she needs it as well as work in her extracurricular activities like sports – she is learning to manage her own life at the tender age of 11.  Its quite impressive for an average 5th grader let alone one that has learning challenges, deals with living in 2 households and has to deal with tension and conflict between her parents.  But we all know that there is nothing average about Maddie – she is strong, tenacious and determined – her spirit is unwavering and she is wise beyond her years.  She humbles me when I think of what that child overcomes and the beautiful plan and purpose GOD must be calling her to.

My sweet ball of fire, full of personality MIA – is a leader and a math expert.  She has had many successes and much growth throughout the year that is measurable and quite impressive.  She has fought her way from the bottom to the top of those measuring sticks for 2nd grade!  Her teacher says she a leader in the classroom and with her friends.  Sometimes I see her as overly sensitive and I always say she is emotionally connected to the world in a deeper way than any of us – but when I think of her as a Leader – those qualities may very well bring to her leadership style compassion, empathy and a boldness that many leaders do not possess.

Again I am humbled, truly humbled at how GOD can turn ashes into something beautiful.  Its in the small things folks – the things we tend to overlook that are GOD’s biggest triumphs!  Its those that HE uses to redeem, build, and beautify.  HE has a significant purpose for both Maddie and Mia on this Earth.  My prayer is always that they know this and they are able to discern what GOD is calling them to do.  #REDEMPTION #ADOPTIONISBEAUTIFUL #OVERCOMING #FINDINGGODSPURPOSE

 

 

 

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Happy (belated) New Year with a dose of Perseverance

We are already in month 3 of the new year so this post is a little late, however I wanted to pen a post about the new year because I am excited about what it will bring.  2 big things we will see in 2019 is a College Graduation for Lizzy as well as the beginning of her journey called “Adulting” with a move to Houston and the start of a new job with Aire Liquide’s corporate office.  At the opposite end of the school spectrum we will also see the end of elementary school and the transition for Maddie into MIDDLE SCHOOL – where does the time go.

Travel for 2019 hasn’t been 100%locked in but we are off to a good start, kicking off the year with  an amazing ski trip with friends and my big kids.  Me and the girls will be traveling to St. Louis soon to see our favorite guy in the whole wide world and I will venture to explore CUBA later in the summer.  Stay tuned for more exciting travel for 2019 to come.

2019 is shaping up to be a good year already but I wanted to take a moment and focus on the bigger picture for 2019.  Every new year we turn the page and get a chance on a fresh start.  A new set of months to do all over again.  Each year for many years I have sworn off New Years Resolutions and picked themes for the new year.  This year’s theme…. drumroll please…. is PERSEVERENCE! The last few years for me have been transitional… that’s a good word to describe it.  2019, will be the beginning of the end of transition and I see me moving into more of a normal phase of life.  Not to say 2019 wont have challenges, I am just determined to Persevere through them to the life I want…. I have persevered through all the adversity and valleys life has gifted me over the last few years and that perseverance is paying off.  – and yes I mean gifted!

When I look back at all the pictures that document 2018 I smile – It has been quite a year.  Those pictures are filled with adventures, friends – new and old, celebrations, milestones and a new found LOVE…. they document the turning of a corner for me.  The corner where grief and sadness are left and where perseverance takes over!  I am thankful for 2018 and looking forward to 2019 – even looking forward to the Holidays!!!  Happy belated New Year.

 

Remnants

Sometimes remnants of my prior life appear in my present life – almost like messenger pigeons.  Bringing messages that not only remind me that I am so much better off but also ones that let me see the TRUTH about what I thought my reality was.  Some of these conversations have been earth shattering to say the least.  Stories of events that were painted very differently for me at the time but are cloaked with manipulation and lies.     I felt like the final layer of fog was lifted from my eyes and for the first time in my LIFE I really am able to see the person I was formerly married to for who he truly is and what the reality of my life was and this goes wayyyyy beyond infidelity folks.

What does one do with that kind of TRUTH which is so contrary to what I thought my life was?  Well….  it took me a couple days to process the gravity of it all.  Then you make it right with those you wronged because of the lies you were told.  You recognize the blessing of clarity that gives you a greater awareness for your path forward.  And finally you TRUST that GOD has a plan and a reason for all things and you keep moving forward…. finally closing some chapters that were long overdue……

truth 2 meme

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Journey

I recently celebrated my 46th birthday surrounded by family and friends.  46…. take that in for a moment.  Some years turning a year older was tough – not this year… I feel 46 is going to be one of my best years yet.

During the festivities, I received one of the most unique gifts for my birthday that I have ever received.  It was a beautiful yet simple necklace that had beads on it.  If you were to just look at the necklace without any background – you would think – its pretty.  But when you looked deeper it was so much more…  The beads were arranged in “morse code” and revealed a message of “Enjoy the Journey” – which is a very poignant message for me.  Poignant in that I haven’t always enjoyed the journey.

birthday present pic

I think sometimes we walk through trials in our life – divorce being one of them and we eventually get to the other side.  AND, although GOD is there with us through it – we don’t enjoy the journey.  We get lost in the grief, the struggle and we lose focus of trying to find the joy and blessings in that space.  The blessings when we look back at the journey are abundantly clear – we just can’t seem to see them while we are walking.  Kinda like the necklace… almost like the blessings are being broadcast to us in Morse Code and we can’t figure out what its saying.  But when you look deeper and pay attention to the details, just like I did to the necklace, you see the message so clearly.

For me, I didn’t always enjoy the journey in that moment – it was tough.  However, looking back I can see where God was pouring out his blessings upon me in those moments.  Where he was making all things right.  And bigger picture folks…. I wouldn’t change a thing I went through – it got me where I am today.

birthday pic

 

 

 

KNOWN

Some days I walk through my life and wonder “how did I get here?”, ” what happened to my life”.  I have a tendency to look backwards at times (thank you Timehop) and wonder – where did it all go, how did I get here – all those questions most of us that have experienced divorce ask ourselves and especially the big question.. WHY?.  Why did I experience that pain, why did my kids have to be affected…. and the list of why questions can go on and on.  I try not to stay in that place for very long, as one can get stuck there/ languishing, but I do go there on occasion for brief moments.

Those brief moments of reflections now are courtesy of my new life, my new love which provides a tool for comparison.  Comparing the dysfunctional to the functional.  Standing in awe of a man now who adores me compared to one that I am not sure even liked me.  Enjoying good times with friends old and new, laughing and celebrating compared to being isolated and lonely.  Enjoying a relationship that is easy, fun and full of laughter compared to one that was hard, adverse and sullen. Being respected in every aspect of life compared to being disrespected in every conceivable way.  My new life is a STARK comparison of the one I left behind.

And what is so striking to me when I do reminisce back to that life that seems like soooo long ago, is that GOD listened and took notes.  Things I wrote in my journals of my needs and wants in a relationship.  GOD was even paying attention to hurtful words said to me, harsh interactions, those things that were never written or articulated to anyone – HE saw, He knew.  He knew my life needed to be remixed – it needed pruning. (He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  John 15:2 )  And if you think about pruning, cutting and tearing away and leaving behind – it’s painful.  Painful but necessary for growth, for new life.

GOD took notes, pruned but even better HE delivered.  He delivered someone that made all those wrongs right. Someone who tore down walls of protection and provides safety in my vulnerability.  Someone who GOD knew would heal my hurts and my heart and bring value to my life and the lives of my children.  That right there is being KNOWN…….. Known by an all-knowing and loving GOD.

So I do look back… it still makes me sad of all that has transpired but I know that GOD had a plan and a purpose and I am finally seeing it come to fruition.  As I have said many times… Beauty from Ashes!

dean known

 

Thankful

On this eve of Thanksgiving I woke up reflecting on all that I had to be thankful for.  Here are my thoughts in no particular order.  I am thankful for:

– An amazing bunch of children that I get to be Mom to and 1 extra that is mine but not mine that I love just as much. #PricelessTreasures

–  A Dad that I have such a special connection with and of course another basketball season with him

– Safe Travels for my daughter, although she won’t be with me for Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity she has to travel and see places some have only seen in pictures.

– My older children’s significant others, Emily and Collin and the happiness they bring into our lives. I love them as much as I love my children.

– The struggles in my life, because without the struggle there is no progress.

– My besties, that are more like family than friends and the times that we have enjoyed over the past year and there’s more to come….

– For my Blog and that GOD gave me an outlet and a gift of writing.  I am also thankful for the people it touches and hopefully brightens and encourages them in their walk of life.

– For my family, my mom, sister, uncle, aunt and dad who are ever present in my life, are always my biggest cheerleaders and are always there to celebrate the special times in this life with me.

– For a new family I get to spend this Thanksgiving with.  I pray this is the first of many family gatherings together.

– Last but certainly not least… For Dean, who makes the sunshine brighter and the music sound better in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.  May your day be filled with people who love you, good food and lots of laughter.  And I pray that this season of Thankfulness spills over and continues throughout the year.

turkey

 

My List

There was a point in 2015 when this journey was just beginning that my life coach had tasked me with writing down what I thought a healthy marriage looked like; what I wanted in a relationship/marriage.  I gave this assignment careful thought and attention.  Once I came up with the list we reviewed it in session and the next step was to communicate that to my husband, at the time.  We were just a few months into our separation and we were both vacillating back and forth.  I was hopeful that this would start the conversation for us to determine what direction we were going.  I carefully wrote a loving email, one which wasn’t accusatory but factual and included my list of what I wanted in a marriage.

He responded, then I responded and then we sent a couple more emails back and forth.  Reading those today I still feel the same as I did when I received them – like I was in the twilight zone.  Was he even reading the same email that I sent?????  His answers weren’t even relevant to the email that he was responding to – it was bizarre.

Now almost 4 years into my singleness I still have MY LIST.  The list has always been a guideline for me, a beacon so to speak, to keep me focused on what it is I really wanted in a relationship.  And I have had moments in my life where I started to lose sight of these things I so painstakingly thought through and wrote down and so desperately wanted.

Before we go any further in this post, let me share the list.

Healthy marriage/relationship looks like having:

Someone that is committed to being faithful through the good times and bad times. Someone that I can trust no matter what.

Someone that makes me feel good about myself. Who’s Eye does not wander and look at other girls in my presence and flirt with them.

That I am allowed to have friendships and do girl things with my friends.

To be with someone that believes marriage is a partnership and that will help with the kids and our obligations with the kids

To be with someone who enjoys supporting me or even joining me in activities I’m passionate about, like athletic activities such as running, triathlons, biking, adoption mission trips, whatever the case may be I want someone there to cheer me on.

To have someone to enjoy my life with. Which includes adult activities, ( having adult things to look forward to) going out with friends, trips etc.  as well as having someone that will be present and enjoy attending my children’s events and activities.

To have someone that wants to come home and enjoy the simple things in life. Watching a TV show doing homework cooking supper.

To be with someone who can enjoy drinking socially.

Being with someone who is open to meeting new friends and nurturing friendships existing.

Being with someone who is respectful of me and does not call me names

Being with someone who cares about being with us and he puts us in front of other people. Makes me and my family priority

Living without being under constant suspicion that I’m doing something wrong.

Someone that is genuinely interested in me and how my day went and can discuss the things that are important to me

Being with someone who takes care of themselves and their body. Proactively seeks to remedy conditions that ails them

Being with someone that has compassion for me. Allowing me to be sick, etc

Being with someone who supports my faith, is by my side at church and who has a personal relationship with God

Being with someone who can say they are sorry for doing wrong and truly mean it

I have had some heart to heart conversations with GOD about this list and if there was a man that checked all these boxes out there for me.  And if there was could he just hurry and reveal him.  But again you learn at times like these that “It’s in the waiting”.  God tells us in John 13:7 “You may not understand NOW what I am doing but SOMEDAY you will.

john137

My SOMEDAY has arrived….. and so has the man that checks all of those boxes on MY LIST and so many more.

A list penned years before….. my heart’s desire spelled out and known by an all-knowing GOD, a lesson in patience, obedience, forgiveness, humility and trust.  A journey of tears, laughter, friendship, and healing that ends (really begins) with happiness.